The Turkish military said that its warplanes hit targets of the PKK guerillas in the Zap region of northern Iraq Oct. 12. The Turkish General Staff said in a statement that this was the seventh time that Turkey’s warplanes have bombed PKK targets in Iraq since Oct. 4. Rather than protesting the raids, Iraq’s ambassador to Turkey Sabah Umran Oct. 14 pledged his government’s support in cracking down on the PKK.
The PKK is stepping up its attacks in Turkey. On Oct. 3, 17 Turkish soldiers were killed when PKK militants attacked the Aktutun Gendarmerie Border Unit in Semdinli town in the southeast province of Hakkari. The military said 23 PKK militants were also killed in the clash.
On Oct. 8, a PKK machine-gun attack on a police bus in Diyarbakir province claimed five lives. A PKK communique claimed the bus attack as a “successful action.” The attack came just as the parliament in Ankara extended by a year the government’s mandate to order cross-border military action against PKK in Iraq.
The US Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson condemned the guerilla attacks and said Washington will do “whatever necessary” to support Turkish security forces in the fight against PKK. (Hurriyet, Turkey, Xinhua, Oct. 14; World Bulletin, Turkey, Xinhua, Oct. 12)